An even harder problem is to convince the software industry to build software out of carefully designed components. What I see, however, is the movement in the opposite direction. Hand-crafted, one-off, undisciplined code is impossible to replicate. Adobe did a fabulous job specifying Postscript; that allowed Peter Deutsch to single-handedly produce Ghostscript. Now Adobe is not going to specify Photoshop’s behavior. Let the Gimp guys try to replicate it. While Linus Torvalds was able to replicate Unix from the carefully written System V interface definitions, no one could replicate Windows: being nonstandard creates barriers to entry. There are grave economic reasons making any progress unlikely while undisciplined programmers generate huge amount of capital. It’s analogous to the programmer whose terrible spaghetti code gives him job security, since no one else can understand it.

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